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Faculty Resources

Queens College Procedures for Tenure/CCE and Promotion

The procedures described here concern several personnel actions: the granting of tenure to professorial faculty and College Laboratory Technicians (CLT); the granting of Certificates of Continuous Employment (CCE) to lecturers; and the promotion of professorial faculty; that is, Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and Associate Professor to Full Professor. These procedures represent the college’s implementation of the provisions outlined in University documents, including the bylaws and the collective bargaining agreement between the PSC/CUNY and the University, as well as in Queens College governance documents. Please review these procedures carefully, noting that some differ among professorial, CLT, and CCE candidates. Note that in this document, “tenure” sometimes includes both tenure and CCE.

Academic departments initiate recommendations for tenure and promotion. It is the chair's responsibility to inform candidates of the schedule for consideration. Recommendations are reviewed by the Department Personnel and Budget (P&B) Committee, the Divisional Advisory Committee, the Subcommittee on Tenure and Promotions (the “Committee of Seven”), the College P&B, and the President. Recommendations must be based on the Queens College Guidelines for Tenure/CCE and Promotion and the University and College documents referred to there.

1. Information Needed

The review process involves the following items:

1.1 Department Reports (completed after department P&B review).
1.2 Curriculum Vitae and Candidate’s Statement
1.3 Personal File
1.4 Supporting Materials

In the following, each of these is described.

The actual preparation of the Tenure and Promotion Report is described in a memo to department secretaries. The schedule and deadlines are described in a memo to department chairs.

1.1. The Tenure and Promotion Report (TPR)
summarizes information about the candidate. The preparation of the report is the responsibility of the department. However, candidates must provide biographical information for the curriculum vitae portion of this report, including higher education experience, record of appointments, personal data, academic and professional honors, memberships in professional societies, references, and scholarly and creative works. The report also provides information on the candidate's workload for the previous four semesters, including classes taught and other official assignments (e.g. department or college administration, released time for research, grant released time, etc.) Multiple positions must also be reported. Be sure to use the most recent version of the report, as posted on the provost’s website. Candidates should inspect the TPR for completeness accuracy before the cover sheet (Page 1), P&B report, chair’s report, and external reviewers’ letters are attached, as all these items are confidential and must not be shown to the candidate under any circumstances. This restriction also applies to candidates who are members of the P&B. In preparing these confidential items, note the following:

1.1.1. P&B Report: The department P&B report should be a summary of all the information the P&B has collected on the teaching effectiveness, research and scholarly production, and service of the candidate. Avoid recitation of information provided in the curriculum vitae. The P&B report should be reviewed and signed and dated by all the members of the committee, who may append their own statements if they wish. Split votes must be noted in the report. A minority report may be written, signed, and included. Any member of the P&B committee should feel free to file a dissent from the committee's action. The report should comment on each of the following:

a) Teaching Effectiveness. Summarize the substance of the committee's evaluation of the candidate as a teacher. Departmental P&B committees have the responsibility to conduct on-going evaluations of faculty teaching effectiveness. This includes peer review and student evaluation. Each department is encouraged to devise departmental evaluation instruments to supplement the instrument provided by the Academic Senate. Explain the different types of evidence the committee relied on and how each type was assessed in the evaluation process. All relevant documents should be submitted in separate folders and placed in the candidate's personal file. If the candidate has no classroom teaching responsibilities, summarize the committee's evaluation of the candidate's designated function.

b) Scholarly and/or Artistic Production. Summarize the committee's evaluation of the quality and quantity of the candidate's professional production. Be particularly thorough regarding the committee's qualitative evaluation, since a list of the candidate's work is provided elsewhere. Be explicit as to methods of arriving at the evaluation, including, for example, judgment of committee members based on reading/viewing candidate's work, published reviews, quality of journals published in, outside evaluations, etc. Explain the value which the P&B placed on the individual referees' letters, but avoid lengthy quotations, as the letters are considered independently.

c) Service Relevant to Professional and Faculty Role. Summarize the committee's evaluation of the quantity and quality of professionally relevant service. Be particularly thorough and explicit about quality, as a list of the candidate's activities and memberships is included elsewhere.

d) General Comments. Discuss any special circumstances of the candidate's teaching situation that is not indicated under “Workload Data,” or that is especially relevant to the evaluation. Include any other considerations, additional strengths and/or weaknesses; collegiality, etc.

1.1.2. Chair’s Report: Avoid recitation of information in curriculum vitae and lengthy quotes from external reviewers. Include a discussion of the candidate's role in the department and of the candidate's value to the department. Provide information on the distribution of credit in multiply-authored publications, particularly with regard to the practice in the candidate’s discipline. The report should also address the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service as discussed in Items a) – d) above. The report must be signed and dated.

1.1.3. External Evaluations: For all professorial candidates for tenure and promotion, letters from reviewers must be provided which evaluate the candidates’ scholarly and/or creative work. Customarily the chairperson or a designated member of the department P&B will request letters from appropriate reviewers. The department must exercise good judgment and discretion in selecting reviewers. At least six reviewer letters are strongly recommended. These should be from individuals who are more senior scholars than the candidate. At least three must be from reviewers outside CUNY; preferably all should be. If any CUNY reviewers are used, a detailed justification must be provided. While consultation with the candidate is valuable, there is no necessity that the candidate agree to any of the reviewers. If a candidate states that he/she does not wish to be evaluated by a particular person selected by the department, the candidate may provide reasons, in writing, and these shall be included with the reviewers' letters. The candidate may suggest reviewers, but the department may ignore any or all of those suggestions. At least some reviewers must be individuals not suggested by the candidate.
The Department P&B shall develop a uniform letter of solicitation to be sent to all reviewers. A suggested letter is posted on the provost’s website. An example of the letter of solicitation must be included in the TPR. It is usual to provide the external evaluators with copies of the candidate’s curriculum vitae as well as selected major articles, unpublished manuscripts, and other materials that might help the reviewer form a judgment. All reviewers who were asked by the department to evaluate the candidate must be listed and all letters received must be included. An explanation must be provided for each case in which a letter was not received from a reviewer. If it is anticipated that a candidate will be brought up for tenure and promotion in the same academic year, the letter of solicitation may explain that Queens conducts tenure and promotion reviews separately and ask reviewers to address both issues, so the letters used for tenure consideration in the fall can be reused for promotion consideration in the spring. However, it is recommended that still be at least two new reviewer letters in the spring. The following information must be provided in the appropriate section of the TPR for each external reviewer:

a) Name, title, and institutional affiliation
b) Brief description of area of specialization (in a sentence or two – do not include the curriculum vitae) and professional credentials to serve as reviewer
c) Explicitly state:

a. If and how the reviewer and the candidate are acquainted.
b. If the reviewer was suggested by the candidate.

The candidate must not see the reviewers' letters under any circumstances. The original of these letters must be forwarded to the Divisional Dean with the candidate's materials. The candidate may solicit letters of support from outside evaluators. Such letters should be initialed by the candidate and included in the supporting materials; they are not part of the TPR. It is essential to distinguish between such letters of support and letters from external reviewers solicited by the department.

1.2. Personal File: The candidate’s personal file must contain the following:

a) Initial appointment letter.
b) All annual evaluation conference reports.
c) Peer observation reports and peer conference reports.
d) Updated curriculum vitae.
e) Student course and faculty evaluation forms showing student comments (include both College forms and departmental forms, where applicable).
f) Annual reappointment letters.
g) Third-year review report.
h) Other items as added by the candidate, such conference proceedings that list candidate contributions, letters of invitation to give presentations, exhibit or
performance announcements, etc.

Candidates should check the items in their personal file for accuracy and completeness, and initial materials to indicate they have seen them. (This does not imply agreement with the contents.)

It is very important that student evaluations, peer observations, and annual evaluations be conducted regularly. Candidacies may be deferred if a sufficient record is not available.

1.3. Supporting Materials: The supporting materials include all scholarly and creative works which candidates wish to have considered in the review process. This includes publications, articles, grant applications, abstracts, and any other creative works. Candidates must provide copies. These supporting materials should be coded to correspond with the way they are reported in the TPR. If a work has been completed and a publisher’s contract has been signed, a copy of the contract, or written confirmation that it has been seen by the department P&B, should be attached to the work. Materials which are not available for review should not be included in the vita.

The candidate must provide a signed list of all supporting materials included and check that the materials listed are present. The list must be examined by the chairperson, or designee, to confirm that all materials listed are present, and a copy of the list signed by the chair or designee shall be given to the candidate.

The supporting materials must also include information on the candidate’s teaching. The candidate should provide as much information as possible about the content and structure of his/her courses. Course syllabi are required; other teaching information could be in the form of course syllabi, sample assignments, materials prepared for courses, etc. Information about the response of students to the candidate’s courses should also be provided. All written comments from students, either solicited by the faculty member or collected as part of a course evaluation, must be included.

2. Department P&B Committee

The department P&B committee must consider each candidate. The information described above, including the candidate’s curriculum vita, reviewer letters, personal file, and supporting materials, should be considered by the committee. Members of a department P&B must recuse themselves from deliberations on their own case. Only members of department P&B Committees who hold the rank of Associate or Full Professor may vote on promotion to Full Professor.

After the department P&B committee has considered and voted, by secret ballot, on all candidates, the committee and the chair will prepare reports on each candidate as described above. As noted above, these reports are confidential and are not to be made available to the candidate even if he or she is a member of the P&B. An alphabetical, unranked list of recommended candidates is to be sent to the divisional dean and the Provost.

2.1. Appeals

If the Department P&B does not recommend an eligible candidate, the chairperson shall immediately inform the candidate and the appropriate divisional dean. Suggested letters are attached and are also posted on the provost’s website. If the candidate is an assistant professor, he or she may appeal the decision in writing to the dean, providing a full explanation and a curriculum vitae and any other pertinent documents. The dean in turn will notify the department chairperson and the department will prepare the necessary TPR as for candidates it recommends, including the P&B report, the chair’s report, and the letters from external reviewers. In such appeals cases, the cover page of the TPR, the P&B report and the chair’s report should be marked “Appeal,” as noted in the memo to department secretaries. The candidate’s personal file and supporting materials, including letters of support, if any, are sent to the dean as for recommended candidates.

2.2. WDAR’s

If the P&B does not recommend an eligible associate professor for promotion, the candidate can nonetheless request to be included in the subsequent review process. If the P&B does not recommend an eligible full professor for tenure by the department, the candidate’s case is nonetheless automatically included in the subsequent review process. In such cases the cover page of the TPR, the P&B report, and the chair’s report should be marked “WDAR” (without department’s affirmative recommendation), as noted in the memo to department secretaries. The candidate’s TPR, personal file, and supporting materials, including letters of support, if any, are sent to the dean as for recommended candidates.

3. Divisional and College Steps

3.1. Recommendations from department P&B committees and from appellants go to the Divisional Advisory Committee, the caucus of each division, which will review each case. The committee will have available to it the contents of the TPR and the personal file and supporting materials for each candidate, as described in Section 1 above. Following deliberations, each voting member of the committee, regardless of rank, will rate each candidate in a secret ballot.

For tenure/CCE, there is a 1 to 3 scale, as follow:
3 = qualified (the member believes the candidate is qualified)
2 = uncertain (the member is uncertain about the candidate’s qualifications)
1 = unqualified (the member believes the candidate is unqualified)

For promotion, there is a 1 to 5 scale, as follows:
5 = very strong
4 = strong
3 = moderate / uncertain
2 = weak
1 = very weak

Ratings 5 and 4 mean promotion is recommended, while 3, 2, and 1 mean it is not recommended.

The ratings of the Divisional Advisory Committee are forwarded to the Subcommittee on Tenure/CCE and Promotion as individual scores and as a group mean. These divisional ratings are advisory.

College Laboratory Technician candidates for tenure are also reviewed by the CLT Advisory Committee. This committee is normally chaired by the Dean of Math and Natural Sciences, who should be contacted for more information.

3.2. Each candidate is then considered by the Subcommittee on Tenure/CCE and Promotion. This subcommittee has two members from each of the Divisions of Arts & Humanities; Math and Natural Sciences; and Social Sciences and one member from the Division of Education, and convened and chaired by the provost as non-voting member. Divisional members are nominated by the four divisional subcommittees of the College P&B Committee and elected by the full College P&B. The subcommittee will have available to it the TPR, the personal file, and the supporting materials for each candidate, as described above. In the course of its deliberations, the subcommittee may ask for additional information from other sources. The subcommittee, voting by secret ballot, makes advisory recommendations to the College P&B.

3.3. The College P&B is informed of the Subcommittee on Tenure/CCE and Promotion’s advisory recommendations, affirmative and negative, concerning candidates. Members of the College P&B should review the materials of all candidates. The College P&B, by secret ballot, recommends candidates to the President. All candidates are then informed by the Provost's Office of the College P&B's recommendations.

3.4. The President receives all positive recommendations and appeals from candidates who have negative recommendations from the College P&B. It is the President's affirmative responsibility to review all recommendations and to make appropriate recommendations to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees. The President may consult with members of the Subcommittee on Tenure and Promotion, with members of the College administration, or with other informed people prior to making a decision. The President reports to each candidate his/her inclusion or non-inclusion on the list of those to be recommended.


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